Foxconn again shifts Wisconsin plan after Trump intervenes

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The news capped a week of confusion about Foxconn’s plans in Wisconsin. The company announced in 2017, to much fanfare, that it planned to invest $10 billion in the state and hire 13,000 people to build an LCD factory that could make screens for televisions and a variety of other devices.

The company last year said it was reducing the scale of what was to be made in Wisconsin, from what is known as a Gen 10 factory to Gen 6. But this week, even that was thrown into question with Foxconn executive Louis Woo said it couldn’t compete in the television screen market and would not be making LCD panels in Wisconsin.

Friday - Twist - Foxconn - Discussions - White

But on Friday, in yet another twist, Foxconn said after discussions with the White House and a personal conversation between Trump and Foxconn chairman Terry Gou, it plans to proceed with the smaller manufacturing facility.

“Great news on Foxconn in Wisconsin after my conversation with Terry Gou!” Trump tweeted.

Wisconsin - Governor - Company - Friday - Flip-flopping

Wisconsin’s new Democratic governor criticized the company Friday for its flip-flopping.

“There’s no limit, frankly, to skepticism if the messaging isn’t coherent,” Evers told reporters. “I’m comfortable that they’re still committed to the state. They’re committed to this Generation 6 technology, but that doesn’t mean that we (won’t) encourage them to be more transparent and consistent in their messaging.”

Statement - Commitment - Size - Factory - Type

The latest Foxconn statement did not say whether the commitment to this size factory would affect the type of workers who would be employed in Wisconsin. Foxconn executive Louis Woo told Reuters earlier this week that about three-quarters of workers in Wisconsin would be in research and development-type jobs, not manufacturing. Woo said the Wisconsin project would be more of a research hub, rather than having a manufacturing focus.

A Foxconn spokeswoman had no immediate comment about what its plans to build the “Gen 6” factory...
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